|March 18th, 2014||#1|
Join Date: Nov 2003
Blog Entries: 25
Crimea? No, Venice! Independence Referendum in EU goes Almost Unnoticed
By Russia Today
March 18, 2014
While the Crimean referendum tops world media headlines, an attempt at secession is going on in Veneto, Italy, with its major city Venice. But as it is being virtually ignored by media, people in Europe are hardly aware of what’s happening next door.
“Do you mean the independence of Crimea?” says a Berlin resident when RT’s Irina Galushko asks him of what he thinks of the current referendum in Veneto, Italy, where people are voting on whether to break away from Rome.
“No, I haven’t heard of it” was the most common answer Galushko received.
The online referendum in the northern Italian province was launched on Sunday, the same day the majority of people in Crimea voted yes to seceding from Ukraine and joining Russia. But unlike the Crimean referendum, the Veneto one has not quite found itself in the media spotlight.
Nevertheless, about 3.8 million eligible Veneto resident voters will now be able, until Friday, to say if they would like to see the region an independent, sovereign and federative Republic of Veneto.
Veneto is one of the biggest and wealthiest provinces in Italy with a population of more than 5 million people. One of the main reasons for the vote is that the region is tired of the backbreaking burden of taxes imposed by Rome.
“We would like to continue the economic ties with Italy,” Lodovico Pizzati, the spokesman for the independence movement, told RT. “But from a fiscal standpoint there’s a huge gap between what we pay in taxes and what we receive as public service. We are talking about a difference of 20 billion euro.”
The latest polls, suggesting that about 65 percent of the population is in favor of becoming independent, have encouraged the independence movement leaders finally to have the region’s fate decided.
“We have to fight for it [independence],” Giovanni Dalla Valle, head of the Veneto independence movement, told RT. “We will do it in a peaceful, diplomatic way. We do strongly believe that when the majority wants to be independent there is nothing they [the Italian government] can do.”
Veneto independence activists say they have been inspired by secession movements in Scotland and Catalonia.
|March 24th, 2014||#2|
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The wild frontier
Venice secessionists win referendum
Venice votes to split from Italy as 89% of the city's residents opt to form a new independent state
Venetians have voted overwhelmingly for their own sovereign state in a ‘referendum’ on independence from Italy.
Inspired by Scotland’s separatist ambitions, 89 per cent of the residents of the lagoon city and its surrounding area, opted to break away from Italy in an unofficial ballot.
The proposed ‘Repubblica Veneta’ would include the five million inhabitants of the Veneto region and could later expand to include parts of Lombardy, Trentino and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
The floating city has only been part of Italy for 150 years. The 1000 year–old democratic Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia, was quashed by Napoleon and was subsumed into Italy in 1866.
Wealthy Venetians, under mounting financial pressure in the economic crisis, have rallied in their thousands, after growing tired of supporting Italy’s poor and crime ridden Mezzogiorno south, through high taxation.
Activists have been working closely with the SNP on their joint agendas, even travelling to Scotland alongside Catalonians and Basque separatists to take part in pro independence rallies.
Campaigners say that the Rome government receives around 71 billion euros each year in tax from Venice - some 21 billion euros less than it gets back in investment and services.
Organisers said that 2.36million, 73 per cent, of those eligible to take part voted in the poll, which is not recognised by the Rome government.
The ballot also appointed a committee of ten who immediately declared independence from Italy. Venice may now start withholding taxes from Rome.
Campaigner Paolo Bernardini, professor of European history at the University of Insubria in Como, northern Italy, said it was ‘high time’ for Venice to become an autonomous state once again.
‘Although history never repeats itself, we are now experiencing a strong return of little nations, small and prosperous countries, able to interact among each other in the global world.’
‘The Venetian people realized that we are a nation (worthy of) self-rule and openly oppressed, and the entire world is moving towards fragmentation - a positive fragmentation - where local traditions mingle with global exchanges.’
President of the Veneto region, Luca Zaia, of the separatist Northern League party, said that Venetians had lost 85,000 jobs in the crisis and were now’ hungry’ for change: ‘The will for secession is growing ever stronger .
'We are only at the Big Bang of the movement - but revolutions are born of hunger and we are now hungry. Venice can now escape.’
The five-day poll came in the same week that Crimean residents chose in a landslide vote to leave Ukraine and become part of Russia.
Secede. Control taxbases/municipalities. Use boycotts, divestment, sanctions, strikes.
Last edited by Hugh; March 24th, 2014 at 12:15 PM.